£5,000 for Story Chair public artwork for Hester's Way
PUBLIC art costing £5,000 could be coming to Hester's Way in the form of a Story Chair.
Cheltenham Borough Council's public art panel will decide this week whether to provide the money to fund an outdoor wooden sculpture in Hester's Way.
The carving will be a place for people to sit and listen to recordings of people talking about their experiences and memories of Hester's Way.
If the go-ahead is given, Cheltenham artist Natasha Houseago would create the sculpture.
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She came up with the idea after speaking to local people to get their input.
And, once finished, the artwork is expected to be placed in the children's area of Hester's Way Library in Princess Elizabeth Way.
Dave Grange, from Cheltenham-based art group Creative Solutions, will be interviewing residents to provide the recordings, which will be played via headphones attached to the chair.
Natasha, 46, said: "It's a fantastic project and I'm very glad to be involved. I want the chair to be really big – six or seven feet high – and robust so it's throne like and children can run up and jump on it.
"Hopefully the children and local people's designs will drive the whole sculpture. We are asking people to write something down on pegs, which they can hammer into holes on the bottom of the carving. The pegs will have the effect of making the bottom of the chair a bit like braille."
She added that her voice would also be included in the recordings.
"The idea is that I will be carving the chair in the back garden of the library, and I will be recorded speaking to the children while I'm doing it," she said.
"Some of the recordings will be on the headphones when it's finished."
Natasha said she was hoping to use wood from a local tree to carve the chair.
Funding for the project would come from money given to the council through a section 106 agreement with the developers behind the Ash Tree Mews estate in Rowanfield Road.
If the sculpture is given the go ahead, consultation with the public will begin in February.
Natasha, who lives in Chapel Lane, off Bath Road, was recently in the public eye when she made a 10ft sculpture based on Edvard Munch's The Scream in reaction to a "garden grab" development she said blocked sunshine from her home.